Thursday, January 21, 2021

And on Patriotism.... here

Monday, January 11, 2021

...and meanwhile, lockdown...

 ...and the troubling thought is this:

If  something isn't working, is it wise to go on doing it?

Last year's general lockdown was meant to crush the virus, but it didn't.  It turned out to be the wrong policy. The virus doesn't affect everyone: in the young and healthy it isn't the problem that it is for the old and frail. So why enforce a  general lockdown? 

At least we can now hope for the vaccine to start being given out.   Weirdly,  my experience is that some of the people who were most emphatic about supporting lockdown, even seeming to relish it,  are now among those saying they are nervous about having the vaccine!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on President Trump and his rally in Washington... here's Auntie's:

The notion that Mr Biden and his team"stole" the election and that thousands - millions - of votes were fraudulently misused, was shouted by President Trump immediately the results of voting arrived. But this was absurd.  It was obvious that Trump was talking nonsense: it  just a cry of outrage, anger and disappointment.

Trump  had clearly been hugely impressed by the vast enthusiastic crowds at his rallies, and simply couldn't imagine that the the vast majority of Americans didn't share that enthusiasm. 

It's easy to have that feeling.  Back in 2016,  a great many people were absolutely convinced that Mrs Clinton would win. Some commentators admitted they simply had never met anyone who would vote for Trump. And TIME magazine famously went ahead and printed an issue with the front cover announcing "Madam President" and a pic of Hillary...and interviews and analyses and commentaries and discussions exploring her life and her plans and more.  But the plain fact was that lots of people didn't vote for her, and a Tump was actually going to be President...and the magazine had to be pulped.

In the British general Election of 1945, Winston Churchill lost. It seemed inconceivable - the great war leader, hero and statesman whom the nation rightly revered. But the fact was that a lot of people wanted change.

Elections are like that: they can produce unexpected results. 

Having committed himself to announcing that there had been fraud, Trump couldn't let it go.  And hence the events that led up to that rally in Washington.  

What was his exact motive?  Some of his supporters are now claiming that the troublemakers were actually Trump's enemies, deliberately stirring up violence. There's no evidence for this -  as they now emerge from their own tweets and websites, etc, it's clear they are strong Trump supporters.   But if  there were indeed anti-Trump people around,  surely it's something that was entirely predictable? Why be so stupid as to announce a vast rally, without allowing for that possibility?

The biggest issue, however, is this: if the President of the United States of America really, genuinely believed that some mammoth fraud had taken place, on a gigantic scale, in the country,  surely the most bizarre thing to do is shout about it and call a rally? It required solemn, considered, deeply serious action, possibly involving a gathering of the highest officers of State, plus representatives of the opposition party, to consider all the information available and the legal actions necessary...and much more.

Calling a vast rally with  the apparent aim of simply urging thousands of people to disrupt Congress, simply looks like a an angry panic with no aim at all.  Or, worse, an attempt to overturn the election result and seize power? But if that was the aim, the strange collection of young men  and women who broke into the Congress building, some in fancy dress,  some just larking about and taking pictures of themselves, almost all confused about they they were there, look bizarre

Time for Mr Trump and apologise and retire with what grace can be managed. 

Saturday, January 02, 2021


....and it is worth pondering Benedict XVI on the subject:  read here